The Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic at Yale Law School invites applications for summer fellow positions. The summer fellows will assist in all aspects of the Clinic’s ongoing litigation and other activities.
The Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic is a law student clinic dedicated to increasing government transparency, defending the essential work of news gatherers, and protecting freedom of expression. It provides pro bono legal services to journalists and news organizations, pursues impact litigation, and develops policy initiatives in support of the Clinic’s mission. The Clinic’s current matters include, among others:
Lawsuits defending the newsgathering rights of journalists, including a challenge to prohibitions on camera use in a Texas drone law, damages claims against a police department for targeting journalists covering Black Lives Matter protests, and challenges to retaliatory discrimination against journalists by state officials;
Lawsuits enforcing the public’s right of access to judicial proceedings and records, including access to classified records concerning Guantanamo detainees, and access to discovery materials exchanged in mass tort litigation involving public health and safety;
Freedom of Information Act litigation seeking disclosure of records concerning such issues as healthcare for inmates in federal and state prisons; U.S. non-treaty commitments to foreign governments; U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq; and controversial FDA drug approvals.
The summer fellows will be responsible for assisting in all aspects of the Clinic’s current matters, including drafting pleadings and briefs in pending lawsuits, drafting FOIA requests and other submissions to government agencies, and conducting legal research in support of current or future cases. The fellows will also have the opportunity to work on a research project of their choosing related to the topics of media freedom, information access, and free speech.
The Clinic anticipates that the summer fellows this year will work remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. Depending on public health conditions and the summer fellow’s individual situation, the Clinic and the summer fellow may agree to a partial or fully in-person arrangement. In no event will the summer fellow be required to work in person.
The summer fellows will work under the supervision of David Schulz, Director of the MFIA Clinic and Senior Counsel at Ballard Spahr LLP; Charles Crain, Abrams First Amendment Fellow; Michael Linhorst, Craig Newmark Clinical Fellow; and Stephen Stich, Local Journalism Fellow.
Applicants must have completed at least one year of law school. Applicants should have an interest in issues of press freedom, open government, free speech, law and technology, and/or civil liberties.
A MFIA fellow receives a stipend of $666/week for up to 12 weeks, with a 10-week minimum commitment.
To apply for a fellowship, submit a cover letter, resume, and law school transcript (unofficial transcripts OK). There is no need to submit a writing sample at this time, but one may be requested of applicants.
Applications will be accepted immediately and will be considered on a rolling basis until March 15, 2021. The positions may be filled before the listed deadline, and we encourage you to submit your application as early as possible.
Applications or inquiries should be submitted electronically to: